“We cannot conceive of matter being formed of nothing, since things require a seed to start from… Therefore, there is not anything which returns to nothing, but all things return dissolved into their elements.”
The Ancient Greeks were the first to suggest that all matter is made up of four elements: earth, water, air and fire. This idea, which has also been described in ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts, has gone on to become the cornerstone of science, medicine and philosophy for over two thousand years. It was not until 1789, when Antoine Lavoisier published a list of 33 chemical elements, that the first periodic table dispelled this idea.
However, the images on display in this exhibition present the original Four Elements in all their glory. They successfully convey the life sustaining powers to be found in earth, water, air and fire and the importance of these elements for life on Earth.
Some of the images concentrate on the serenity and calmness that these elements can bring; the stillness of water on a calm day or the gentle breeze in a cloudy sky. Others focus more on the immense strength and destructive force that they can unleash; the violence of waves crashing against the shore or inherent dangers of playing with fire. Either way, our photographers have managed to capture the beauty, the strength and the resilience of the Four Elements.
Sandra Angers-Blondin, Mahfuzul Hasan Bhuiyan, Paul Chapman, Samuel Ravi Choudbury, Liliana Danovaro, Katya Evdokimova, Leka Huie, Joerg Karrenbauer, Ameya Mathkar, Swapnali Mathkar, Richard Mills, Victor Hugo Casillas Romo, Ahmed Kamal Saifi, Alexey Samoylenko, Dalip Singh, Maurice Wilson, Andre Woodward, Faramarz Zareian